Violence and health problems are on the rise: according to figures produced by 15 scientists, the current Belgian cannabis policy is having harmful consequences for society. De Standaard is reporting the findings on Thursday.
During the course of the past few months, 15 researchers from the University of Leuven (“KUL”) and the University of Ghent reviewed Belgium’s cannabis policy. They conclude in their report that the implementation of this policy has worthy motives, but it has failed in its main objectives. Letizia Paoli, a lecturer in Criminology and the Coordinator of the Working Group on the Cannabis Policy, based at KUL, said, “The number of drug-dependent users is increasing, as are the negative consequences for society.”
The researchers are convinced that Belgium’s response to the problem has failed. Ms Paoli asserts, “The repressive approach has only led to a geographical shift, and the emergence of criminal entrepreneurs, who are practically offering cannabis as professional drug suppliers.” She goes on, “Moreover, no checks on the quality and strength of the drug are possible, with all of the consequences which that assumes for public health.”